Decade’s Dozen

UNA‘s Tavarius Wilson, the GSC Defensive Player of the Decade.

BIRMINGHAM - The University of North Alabama placed 12 former Lions on the Gulf South Conference Football Team of the Decade  for 2010-19, and another four former UNA student-athletes were honorable mention selections.

Led by GSC Defensive Player of the Decade Tavarius Wilson, UNA 

had five players earn frst-team all-decade honors and another seven were second-team selections. 

UNA football teams played eight seasons in the Gulf South Conference during the last decade and had a combined 67-27 record that included four GSC championships and six NCAA playoff appearances. 

UNA’s first-team offensive selections include receiver Dre Hall of Columbia, TN., and offensive linemen Stephens Evans of Boston, MA., and Kyle Thornton of Dallas, TX. 

Lions named to the first-team defensive squad included Wilson of Jackson, MS., and defensive back Philbert Martial of Mobile. 

Named second-team all-decade from UNA were running back Lamonte Thompson of Florence; defensive linemen Taylor Carney of Killen, and Freddie Reed of West Point, MS; defensive backs Levi Fell of Muscle Shoals, Caleb Massey of Sulligent, kicker Taylor Pontius of Biloxi, MS., and long snapper Wil Lovelace of Florence.

UNA’s honorable mention selections included defensive lineman Courtney Harris of Jupiter, Fla., linebacker Gabe Poe of Pheba, MS., and quarterbacks Jacob Tucker of Linden, TN., and Luke Wingo of Tuscaloosa.

WILSON was a  two-time first-team All-American and was Division II National Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. He was previously named to the UNA Team of the Decade for 2009-18.

HALL was a three-time first-team All-GSC pick from 2015-17, a three-time All-Super Region 2 selection, and UNA’s all-time leading receiver with 201 catches for 3,144 yards and 25 touchdowns. He was previously named to the UNA Team of the Decade for 2009-18.

EVANS was a two-time All-American and a National Finalist for the 2016 Gene Upshaw Award as the top lineman in Division II. A four-year letterman and three-year starter, Evans was a two-time first-team All-GSC and All-Super Region 2 selection.

THORNTON was a two-time consensus first-team All-American in 2010 and 2011, a two-time first-team All-GSC and was previously named to the UNA Team of the Decade for 2009-18.

MARTIAL was a two-time All-American (2014, 2016), a three-time first-team All-GSC pick, GSC Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2013, and was previously named to the UNA Team of the Decade for 2009-18.

THOMPSON was a four-time All-GSC pick, earning first-team honors in 2014 and 2015 and second-team in 2012 and 2013. He ranked as the second leading rusher in UNA history with 3,524 career yards on 653 carries, and was previously named to the UNA Team of the Decade for 2009-18.

CARNEY was a two-time All-American in 2013 and 2014, as well as a two-time All-GSC, and was previously named to the UNA Team of the Decade for 2009-18.

REED was a three-time All-GSC pick and was previously named to the UNA Team of the Decade 

for 2009-18.

FELL was a three-time All-GSC selection, earning first-team honors in 2015 and 2016.  He started on four straight GSC Championship and NCAA Playoff teams. He was previously named to the UNA Team of the Decade for 2009-18.

MASSEY was a two-time All-American, two-time first-team All-GSC pick and two-time All-Super Region 2 selection, and was previously named to the UNA Team of the Decade for 2009-18.

PONTIUS was named All-American, All-Super Region 2 and first-team All-GSC in 2014. He led the team in scoring with 79 points, hitting 11-of-14 field goal attempts and 46-of-48 extra points. He hit a walk-off, school-record 54-yard field goal to beat Valdosta State 31-29 in 2014. Previously selected to the UNA Team of the Decade, Pontius signed a free agent contract with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.

LOVELACE was the starting long snapper for every game of his four-year career, was a first-team All-GSC pick in 2015, and also earned academic All-GSC honors. 

HARRIS was named first-team All-American by four different organizations in 2010 and was a National Finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award as top lineman in Division II. Harris was previously named to the UNA Team of the Decade for 2009-18.

POE was first-team All-GSC and first-team All Region in 2013.   He led the team with 128 tackles, including 77 solo stops and was previously named to the UNA Team of the Decade for 2009-18.

TUCKER was the 2016 GSC Offensive Player of the Year at quarterback and finished third in the 2016 Harlon Hill Trophy voting for Division II National Player of the Year while leading UNA to GSC Championship and to NCAA Division II National Championship Game.  Tucker was previously named to the UNA Team of the Decade for 2009-18.

A four-year starting quarterback, WINGO finished sixth in the 2015 Harlon Hill Trophy voting for the Division II National Player of the Year. He threw for 8,374 yards, is the UNA career leader with 9,532 total yards, threw 60 touchdown passes and rushed for another 34.  Wingo set a UNA single game record with 519 total yards against Valdosta State in 2014.  He was previously named to the UNA Team of the Decade for 2009-18.